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Title: An exploration of the themes which influence the flow of communications/information around an organisational structure
Author: Hamlin, Suzanne Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 4562
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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Although people in organisations often recognise, and suffer, broken and distorted communications; the way organisations share information internally is seldom considered seriously. Often it is tucked in human resources as low- impact Employee Communications (EC) or hijacked and/or over-shadowed by Knowledge Management (KM). Investment seems justifiable for external but not Internal Communications (IC). This work looks at the author's concept of Internal or Organisational Communications (I/OC); a fusion of IC, EC and KM. An Action Research (AR) approach which was both interpretive and iterative was conducted in three organisations; two vertically integrated businesses and a strategically selected network (in order to improve the transferability of investigative methodology). The purpose was to explore factors which influence the flow of communications/information around a corporate structure. Multiple research cycles were undertaken in Organisation One before spiralling into Organisation Two then Three. This resulted in research cycles informing each- other as they progressed, whilst a similar methodology was applied in three settings. After chronologically telling these stories, 18 themes were systematically drawn out which emerged, developed and sometimes dominated the work. Further analysis caused these themes to form seven groupings to be considered when seeking to improve communications. These groups represent a mode of engagement with an organisation, underpinned by a consistent set of values/beliefs. It is not appropriate to separate the themes and valueslbeliefs from the AR process itself; they will help improve communications when used within the framework of AR. This approach provides a methodology for enabling the analysis of communication issues in organisations. It seeks to understand the organisation before developing sustainable systems and processes built upon what is already working. It helps engender a sense of belonging whilst supporting increased productivity. As it is applied practically it is continuously developing conceptually making it adaptive. Finally, it makes substantive contributions in the areas of research methodology, methods in practice and KM and communications theory.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available